Representatives from local government and policy groups gathered for a one-day conference at the Lakehead University Orillia campus to plan for the development of a Food Charter for Simcoe County. Participants sought to “build community and political support to generate a sustainable food system that grows on the county’s traditional agricultural strengths.” Organizers expect the Charter to emerge from “extensive community consultation and participation over the next few years.” (County promoting a local food revolution, Innisfil Scope, April 20, 2011)
“The objective of the charter is to provide support for a sustainable local food system that will improve the economic viability of the county’s food industry while addressing other needs such as heritage, the environment, and the health of county residents” (Eating locally, Orillia Packet & Times, April 29, 2011). Simcoe County Warden, Cal Patterson, described the initiative as a reflection of “the desire to have a safe, secure and sustainable local food system developed by the community.”
The Food Partners Alliance of Simcoe County is a partnership of the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit, Barrie Community Health Centre, the County of Simcoe, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food & Rural Affairs, and Simcoe County Farm Fresh.
Food Charters from the Region of Durham and City of Toronto provide some indication of the type of policy document that will be created for Simcoe County. Watch for further information or contact one of the participating organizations above.